Walk the talk, no court cluster, PM told

PETALING JAYA: As the Cabinet formation gets under way, some have called for those with pending court cases on corruption not to be included in the line-up.

However, others say it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Khaidhirah Abu Zahar said appointing anyone perceived to be corrupt would be a liability to the unity government.

“Should the rule not to appoint anyone facing corruption charges in court be applied, let that rule be applied across all the parties in the government and not just to the court cluster in Umno.

“The court cluster in Pakatan Harapan and Pakatan-friendly parties too should not get positions then.

“Barisan Nasional, especially Umno, should now have a fast-forward plan as to how this government should be,” said Khaidirah, who is also the assemblyman for Rim, Melaka.

MPs with pending court cases include Barisan president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng, Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Sabah Barisan chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.

National Professors Council senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir said those facing court cases should not be part of the Cabinet as it would damage the government’s credibility.

“Let us not give any space for critics to create doubt about the new government’s fight against corruption. The Cabinet has to be clean and (have) only those with the best experience,” he said.

PKR vice-president Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said leaving anyone with pending court cases out of the Cabinet would prevent issues in the future.

“The public remains concerned about corruption cases involving politicians and a Cabinet free of these individuals would put such fears to rest,” said the Setiawangsa MP.

In Johor Baru, PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must ensure that those selected for his Cabinet were free from any court cases related to corruption and criminal breach of trust.

“As a person who campaigned under the main principles upheld by Pakatan to fight corruption, I urge the Prime Minister to form a Cabinet clean of any corruption activities,” he said.

Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said doing away with those tainted with corruption charges was necessary to build confidence among the rakyat and investors.

“What we need to do now is to strengthen the ringgit as our economy is recovering after the Prime Minister’s swearing-in. We must continue this good start,” he said, adding that the Pakatan presidential council would meet today, during which all these issues would be raised.

Amanah vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the government should walk the talk when it came to fighting corruption.

“What will international investors say if we appoint those with court cases? Pakatan needs to appoint those with the right capabilities, expertise and experience to bring the country to greater heights,” he added.

When asked if those in the court cluster should be given Cabinet posts, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said: “It is the Prime Minister’s call.”

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said while it was the Prime Minister’s prerogative to choose who he wanted to be in his Cabinet, it would be good to have a clean line-up.

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